Monday, October 11, 2021

Kisah AKU n The Valyrian Revenge Pt.2


Masih ingat lagi one-episode The Valyrian Revenge yang aku taip sekitar bulan Julai hari tu. Well, apparently there’s few people request continuation dekat TW fanfiction forum. Memang betul sangkaan aku, ramai peminat Targaryen lore kat luar sana compared to other great houses such as Stark dan Lannister. Aku pulak takdelah minat sangat faction ni walaupun nampak cool dalam HBO series with their dragons. Strangely, aku lagi support the antagonistic House Lannister. Haha. Before baca entri ni, dinasihatkan click this link for the first episode.

It has been two months after House Targaryen recaptured King’s Landing. The Royalist were on the run and rapidly retreating to their homeland. Despite their hasty retreat, Ser Jaime Lannister managed to scored an important victory against the Tully at Golden Tooth. This allowed him to safely regrouped with the reserve Westerland’s army under his cousin, Ser Lancel Lannister. Together, they establish a strong defensive position between Ashemark and Sarsfield, intended to block the Eastern frontier from the enemy. To the south, Lord Kevan Lannister commanded a host of 12,000 troops, guarding the Westerland-Reach frontier which relatively considered safe. The Reach is now ruled by House Tarly after the extermination of House Tyrell by Cersei Lannister. 

At the capital, the Queen's Hand, Lord Tyrion Lannister advised Daenerys to focus on more engagement with her new vassal, instead of pushing for another bloody conquest. While he agreed that the Lannister should be answerable to their crime, Lord Tyrion reminded her that Cersei still have two powerful allies on her side - the Reach who possessed the largest army in Westeros and the Iron Island with their formidable Iron Fleet.

Lord Fredrys Blackfyre, one of Daenerys' trusted commander also raised his concern over the Queen's hasty ambition. Although she got the backing from most of Westeros key regions such as the North, the Riverlands, the Vale and the Dorne, the Targaryen faction still considered as the confederation of problematic states. The North is unable to levy additional troops to replace the losses they had during the war. The Vale, although have an outstanding military forces is now headed by young Robin Arryn who incapable to glue the quarreling senior lords in his region. The Riverlands is struggling to recover from the destruction brought by the Lannister during the War of Five Kingdom, let alone raising a new army. Only the Dornish is able to mobilize a large army within a quick time due to its neutrality in the previous conflict which left their resources unharmed.

Ruling from Casterly Rock, Queen Cersei Lannister still had at least 25,000 Westerland's soldiers under the overall command of his brother, Ser Jaime. Her alliance with the Reach guaranteed an additional 40,000 men. The sea is protected by the remnant of the defeated Iron Fleet commanded by Euron Greyjoy with 70 war galley. Cersei is indeed in a very comfortable position to defend her homeland, and might possibly able to launch a counter-offensive to reclaim the Iron Throne. However, the War Council advised her to wait for the chance to defeat Daenerys in their home territory, rather than advancing into the enemy's land in which the latter agreed.

While touring Crownlands to rebuild his army, Fredrys was being approached by Borg and Reed Matter, two exiled knights sworn oath to Daenerys' late brother, Prince Rhaegar. They requested to serve House Blackfyre after being rejected by Daenerys. After the death of his uncle, Ser Jon Connington during the Battle of Sow's Horn, Fredrys desperately need a capable commander to assist him in the battle. Without much hesitation, he gladly accepted and tasked them to train his recruits made up from ambitious Crownlands youth whom ready to serve their beloved Daenerys, the youngest daughter of Aerys II Targaryen.

Three months has passed, the Blackfyre's army is now fully recovered from their heavy losses during the previous campaign. Lord Fredrys is now commanding a newly formed army with 4,000 Crownlands infantry, 3,000 archers and 1,000 cavalrymen. To supplement her cousin, Queen Daenerys sent him an additional 1,000 Unsullied and 1,000 Dothraki making a total of around 13,000 men under his command.

307AC - The time has come to strike as the invasion forces from Crownland around 20,000 soldiers spearheaded by the red-black dragon banner of House Blackfyre is advancing towards Deep Den via Gold Road. A confederate army of similar size marshaled by Lord Jon Snow consisted of troops from the North, the Riverlands and the Vale is pushing westward to capture Ashemark via River Road. Warden of the South, Lord Gendry Baratheon is amassing Stormland's host, about 22,000 strong to invade the Reach with his primary objective; the principal market town of Ashford. The final contingent under Lord Ryon Allyrion is scaling Prince's Pass to attack House Tarly's ancestral seat at Horn Hill with his 25,000 troops, mostly cavalrymen.  

After the peaceful capitulation of Deep Den, Fredrys sent a sizable detachment under Ser Jorah Mormont to protect his right wing with 8,000 men, while he continues to push towards Cornhill where the southern Westerland's army under Lord Kevan Lannister is expecting the incursion. The two evenly match armies met at the field of Cornhill. If Fredrys manage to defeat the Lannister here, he will be free to enter the heart of Westerland's region from the South which put Jaime's position at Sarsfield untenable.

In the opening phase of battle, Fredrys ordered Khal Ildo to soften the Westerland's defences with the Dothraki's Cantabrian maneuver. At the same time, he sent Brog Matter to ready the Unsullied Legion supported by skirmishers to follow up the initial Dothraki's attack. Despite being trapped between the circling Dothraki, Lord Kevan's army had endured the relentless missile volleys for almost two hours and managed to keep their square formation intact. 

The Unsullied Legion smashed the Westerland's shield wall at 5pm and instantly broke the line in the first attempt. His strategy works! Although the Westerlanders managed to held the wall, but the continuous missile barrage has succeed to shatter the morale of Kevan's exhausted soldiers.


But, Kevan is no fool. He was the veteran of War of Ninepenny's King which saw the death of Fredrys' ancestor, Maelys I Blackfyre and his army at Stepstones. Kevan waited until the Dothraki returned back to their camp for resupply. Once this happens, he unleashed his cavalry charge led by his son, Ser Daven to strike the Unsullied from both of its flanks. It's commander, Borg Matter immediately organized a circle shield wall to mitigate his losses.

Another sudden Westerland's maneuver led by Kevan's younger brother, Ser Gerion emerged from Corn Hill and joined the attack against the isolated Unsullied. At this juncture, the infantry reinforcement led by Reed Matter arrived to reinforce his brother, striking Gerion's rear. Brutal fighting occurred as the Westerlanders determined to push the invader out from their homeland. 

Having been informed by the recent situation, Lord Fredrys later assembled his cavalrymen and lead the counterattack to save his infantry from imminent destruction. 800 Blackfyre's cavalry trot hard to save their fellow countrymen and eventually reached the battle. In his awe, Fredrys was surprised with the defiance shown by his troops as the encircled shield wall remained intact even being surrounded from all sides. A testament of valor and discipline instilled by Matter's brother in training the new army for House Blackfyre.

At the heat of battle, Fredrys jumped from his horse to join the fight on-foot together with his battered army. He was being intercepted by Ser Gerion Lannister who recklessly swing his sword like a mad men. A skillful swordsman, Fredrys remained calm and easily killed him before proceed to engage Lord Kevan himself. After a brief exchange of sword slashing between the two commanders, Fredrys managed to thrust his Blackfyre into Lord Kevan's stomach, before let him succumb in excruciating pain.

The Battle of Cornhill saw the destruction of southern Lannister's army. 7,000 Westerlanders died in the battle and 3,000 wounded. With the death of his father, Ser Daven retreated with approximately 2,000 survivors back to Lannisport. The Blackfyre lost 3,000 men mostly its infantry, and another 2,000 injured. Shortly after the battle, Fredrys managed to seized a lightly defended Cornhill castle and established his field headquarter to coordinate his next action and tend for wounded soldiers

Fredrys sent raven to Lord Jon Snow to informed on his victory at Cornhill. At the central front, the confederate army was being caught in a prolonged stand-off against the Westerland's army under Ser Jaime at Tarbeck Hall. His position is too strong. The Westerlands secured a high ground with flanks protected by nature, as a result Jon Snow lost one third of his initial strength in his attempt to flush the Westerlanders. News from other front, Lord Gendry Baratheon captured Ashford. However, storming of the city costed him around 10,000 casualties and he dared not to advance further into the Reach's territory. Lord Ryon Allyrion is besieging Horn Hill from the start of campaign and made a little progress in disrupting the Tarly's supplies line.

After confirming his enemy movement, Lord Fredrys decided to leave Cornhill and advance northward towards Sarsfield. He left Ser Jorah to protect his rear from any potential attack from Lannisport or Casterly Rock, and to garrisoned the newly conquered land at the southern Westerland.

10,000 Blackfyre's soldiers were marching in an incredible speed and reached western part of Tarbeck Hall two days later. Fredrys quickly ordered the construction of dual-lines defensive fortification of ramparts and wooden palisade to block Jaime from escaping, as well as protecting its rear from unforeseen threat. Rumours said that the Ironborn under Victarion Greyjoy had landed near Banefort.

Jaime launched a diversionary attack against Fredrys, hoping to stall the fort construction. In response, the Blackfyre's commander send a detachment of Dothraki to screen the attack, shooting arrows from horseback to spoil the immediate threat. Seeing his failed attempt, Jaime recalled the attack and returned to defensive stance. 

A week later, Ser Jaime decided to break camp and attack Fredrys with his entire forces after realizing his dire situation. Around 15,000 Westerlanders advancing in two columns towards half-completed Fort Blackfyre. 3,000 Westerland cavalrymen led by the Westerland's commander himself strike the thinnest part of the fort and managed to breakthrough the battlement. Another flying column led by his cousin, Ser Lancel were intercepted by the Unsullied and eventually destroyed. Jamie is left with a dilemma, either to ride hard towards Casterly Rock and live to fight for another day or making their last stand here, at Tarbeck Hall. 

He decided to flee the battlefield and left his 8,000 troops sandwiched between Blackfyre's fortification and the advancing Jon Snow's army at their back. The Westerlander does not have any choice but to fight their way out from the carnage. The acting commander, Lord Damon Marbrand organized a large diamond formation to repel the onslaught. Soon, Lord Jon Snow and Lord Fredrys Blackfyre merged their army, making a total of 20,000 Royalist troops against less than 8,000 Westerlander. While Fredrys signaled his army to a defensive stance, he knew a desperate man is far more dangerous as the will to live urge them to fight better. However, Jon Snow did not think that way and recklessly order the general attack against the outnumbered enemy. 

Fredrys was right, most of Jon's army especially less-armored Northmen and the Riverlands were being mowed down by a volley of arrows from the Westerland's archers. Thanks to Lord Yohn Royce who coordinate the attack from Knight of the Vale, Marbrand's left wing begin to collapse after suffering damages from the fearsome Vale's heavy cavalry.

Seizing the opportunity, Fredrys ordered his infantry and archer to stand down and protect the outer wall of the fort before leading his cavalry to join the fray. The decision to put majority of his troops in alert was made due to the presence of Jamie's cavalry within the battle vicinity. The battle continues for another two hours as the battered Westerlander unable to absorb the combined assault from the Royalist.

Seeing all hope lost, Lord Damon surrendered his army which now reduced to at least 3,000 exhausted soldiers. Lord Jon Snow gave order to execute the survivor but later intervened by Fredrys, whom by right, the highest ranking general and the Queen's cousin. "Stop this madness Lord Snow, these Lannisters are surrendering. Order your men to drop their swords!". "Who are you to give order to me? the Lannister killed my father Lord Eddard, my brother Robb and my...mother..". "The Targaryen hunted and killed my families since I was born.. Our family live in fear since the death of Daemon. Did I take vengeance to Daenerys? You might be Warden of the North, but I lead the army here and you Lord Snow will do what I command!"

The Targaryen conquest of Westerland is reaching its final phase with the ensuing siege of the Lannister's capital under the overall command of Lord Fredrys Blackfyre. The legendary story of Casterly Rock is indeed true as the formidable castle able to withstand frontal attack launched against its wall and seems to be able to sustain a prolong siege. It has been three months since Fredrys lay siege of the castle but with almost no progress made. However, the war is essentially lost to Cersei with the subsequent defeat of Lord Randyl Tarly against the combined forces of the Dorne and the Stormlands at Horn Hill. This led to a peaceful restoration of House Hightower as the new Lord Paramount of the Reach which backed the Targaryen's queen.

Lord Fredrys Blackfyre was given a honor of triumph by Queen Daenerys upon his return to the capital after his successful conquest of the Westerland. He is indeed the past resemblance of his ancestors. A fierce warrior like Daemon Blackfyre and a master strategist like Aegon Targaryen. He is the living reminder of a strong amalgamation of both House Targaryen and House Blackfyre, once united under single banner of Black-Red Dragon. Even with his glorious reputation, Fredrys continue to pledge his allegiance to his cousin, Daenerys. But how does she see him now, a trusted confidant? Or a serious threat to her crown?

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